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Human-Inspired Machine Intelligence

Shep Hyken interviews Dr. Natalie Petouhoff. They discuss AI in business—what works and what doesn’t work, how it can help companies and employees succeed, and how we can best utilize it. They also discuss the need for diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.

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In Shep’s Opening Monologue…

He discusses the pros and cons of chatbots.

The Interview with Natalie Petouhoff:

  • Companies that become too enamored with chatbots, AI, and other technologies can risk losing touch with their customers.
  • AI shouldn’t replace humans; it’s meant to aid and augment both the employee and customer experiences.
  • AI might be more useful to employees rather than customers. It can eliminate mundane, repetitive task for support center agents and help them build better rapport with their customers, which thereby improves the customer experience.
  • Social media has transformed how customers and businesses interact. Having multiple methods of contact, or channels, removes effort from customers, which customers really like.
  • Contact centers and companies alike need to reorient themselves so that the customer is at the center of their operations. They should be less concerned with statistics and more concerned with people.
  • You don’t have to go above and beyond to create an exceptional customer experience. Most customers simply want a quick, easy, and efficient answer or solution to their problems. Providing that is going above and beyond when that isn’t the standard.
  • Companies and employees need to be able to guide and train their AI so it learns better. AI is not meant to operate in an isolated environment; its intelligence is human-inspired.
  • Companies are no longer competing solely against their direct competitor; they’re now competing against the highest standard for service across the board. AI can help power that without customers even realizing it.
  • When companies don’t have an agile mindset, it can be difficult for them to adjust to how rapidly technology changes. Failing to adapt can spell doom for companies if they don’t respond with urgency and a willingness to learn.


“AI is meant to augment the problem-solving process.” – Dr. Natalie

“AI is a machine that’s learning, and we have to help it learn.” – Dr. Natalie

“It’s important that all team members have a chance to contribute equally. Everybody’s voice is important.” – Dr. Natalie


Dr. Natalie Petouhoff is the Vice President of Customer Service Innovation at Salesforce Service Cloud. With years of experience as a contact center analyst, a customer service advisor, and more, she has authored over 150 white papers, e-books, and webinars.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. Should I use a chatbot for my business?
  2. What is psychological safety in a business?
  3. How fast is technology changing?
  4. How can I keep up with changing technology?
  5. How important is diversity in the workplace?

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